This essay explores an immigration enforcement strategy known as IDENT/IAFIS Interoperability, comparing the strategy under its original Secure Communities structure, and under the recently-announced Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). In addition to Secure Communities and PEP, this paper discusses related enforcement programs, overall immigration enforcement goals, and the outcomes of recent enforcement efforts. The paper examines Constitutional challenges to the enforcement programs, and explores deeper issues related to the spectrum of state and local criminal laws, community trust in law enforcement, and dangers of the immigration detention system as it currently exists. Ultimately, this essay provides policy recommendations to address the challenges introduced by Secure Communities and the Priority Enforcement Program.
This essay was prepared by Robert Goodis to fulfill his Upper Level Writing Requirement at American University, Washington College of Law, in the spring of 2015. The paper appears here in the exact form submitted to WCL faculty. It is included in the archives of The Goodis Center because of the relevance of the subject-matter to our ongoing research. This essay may be called a working paper of The Goodis Center – we welcome feedback and discussion.